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imperial hotel: response

imperial hotel
The Japan Advisor, February 26, 1913
“Frank Lloyd Wright Noted Architect Here”

he time of awakening must come sooner or later, continued Mr. Wright, And then the country will be face to face with the costly necessity of getting rid of all these modern architectural monstrosities and evolving a style more in consonance with Japanese traditions and really characteristic of the people. The ugliness of the new Japanese buildings in so-called foreign style is equalled only by their redundancy. It is not as though Japan had no art canons, no architecture of her own, and was therefore compelled to borrow from us. On the contrary, I deem the original Japanese culture to have been as perfect in its own way as that of the ancient Greeks, exemplifying as it did the finest and most fastidious taste in matters of detail. So I say there is no reason whatever why the Japanese style of architecture, as seen both in the temples and private dwellings, should not be adapted to the needs of modern Japan. The country possesses all the essentials to that end—it has the models and it has the craftsmen. It is simply a question of substituting more lasting materials for those now used in the majority of Japanese style structures. Comfort could be considered as well art, for there is nothing fundamentally irreconcilable between the two. As this is an earthquake country, the buildings should not be higher than three or four storeys, and the principal material employed in construction should undoubtedly be reinforced concrete which would offer the most successful resistance to earthquakes. Steel frames are dangerous. Experience in the San Francisco disaster showed that while the steel framework would undoubtedly remain standing, everything on it would be shaken off, and the floors inside would collapse, so that the danger to the inmates was as great as if the entire building had fallen down.”

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